There are numerous addictive drugs on the streets, cocaine is one of them. The consequences of using it may lead to loss in possession's, families, communities, work, and a place to live.
Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant. It is the most powerful natural stimulant found in nature. Often, cocaine is in the form of cocaine hydrochloride. In this form it is a white, crystalline powder.
Drugs such as cocaine and other central nervous system stimulants cause increased energy in the user. Using stimulants goes back to the highlands of the Andean mountains in South America. Incas would use coca leaves as part of their religious rites thousands of years ago.
It became an extremely popular stimulant during the early part of the 20th century. This is before the 1920's Dangerous Drugs Act banned its use. At that time it was commonly used as a local anesthetic.
In the same way as other drugs like opium and heroin during this time, cocaine also began to be used as an active ingredient in a variety of "cure all" tonics and beverages. In many of the tonics that drug companies were producing at this time, cocaine would be mixed with opiates and administered freely to old and young alike. It wasn't until some years later that the dangers of these drugs became apparent.
In fact, it was the negative side effects of habitual cocaine use that was responsible for coining the phrase, "dope fiend". This terminology came about because of the behavior of a person abusing cocaine for prolonged periods of time. Because cocaine is such a powerful stimulant, prolonged daily use of the drug creates severe sleep deprivation and loss of appetite.
A person might go days or sometimes weeks without sleeping or eating properly. The user often experiences psychotic behavior. They hallucinate and become delusionary. Coming down from the drug causes a severe state of depression for the person in withdrawal. This person can then become so desperate for more of the drug that they will do just about anything to get more of it, including murder. If the drug is not readily available, the depression one experiences in withdrawal can become so great the user will sometimes become suicidal. It is because of this heinous effect on the user that the word "fiend" became associated with cocaine addiction.